Common Personal Injury Accidents
Personal injury accidents can happen anywhere and at anytime. However, some types of accidents are more common than others. It is important to understand the most common types of personal injury accidents to that you can try to avoid them and so that you can seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer if you have the misfortune of being involved in such an accident.
Types of personal injury cases
Personal injury cases are legal disputes when someone suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else may be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury case can become formalized through civil court proceedings that seek to find others legally at fault through a court judgment. That said, these disputes may also be resolved through informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed.
Unlike criminal cases, which are initiated by the government, a personal injury case typically starts when the "plaintiff files a civil complaint against another person, business, corporation, or government agency. The plaintiff will allege that the defendant(s) acted carelessly or irresponsibly in connection with an accident or injury that caused harm. This action is known as filing a lawsuit".
But a lot of disputes go straight to settlement. A settlement commonly takes the form of negotiation, followed by a written agreement in which both sides forgo any further action (such as a lawsuit), choosing instead to resolve the matter through payment of an agreeable amount of money.
Most personal injury accidents happen when someone acts negligently. In order to prove negligence, the injured party must be able to establish that the defendant:
- Owed the plaintiff a duty of careThe definition of a “duty of care” varies among the states. Some states look only to whether a personal injury was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions while other states look to the forseeability, the possible magnitude of the harm, the cost of avoiding the harm and other factors.
- Breached the duty of careA defendant breaches his or her duty of care if the defendant failed to act like a reasonable person would have acted given the situation. The reasonable person standard is often one that is contested and argued about in personal injury litigation.
- Caused the plaintiff’s injuries: which would not have happened but for the defendant’s breach of the duty of care. In other words, the plaintiff’s injuries must have occurred because of the defendant’s actions and not because of some underlying medical cause or action that the plaintiff took.
- Is liable for damages to the plaintiff: If the above elements of negligence are satisfied and the plaintiff is either the injured party or someone with standing to sue then the plaintiff is entitled to damages.
Common types of personal injury cases
Negligence is often established in the following types of common personal injury accident cases:
- Car Accidents: including rear end accidents and intersection accidents;
- Motorcycle Accidents;
- Truck Accidents;
- Boat Accidents;
- Bus Accidents;
- Pedestrian Accidents;
- Bicycle Accidents;
- Medical Accidents: including birth injuries, surgical errors, the failure to diagnose, emergency room malpractice and other forms of medical malpractice;
- Slip and Fall Accidents: including slipping and falling on uneven ground, wet floors or slippery spots;
- Workplace Accidents: including workplace illnesses such as Mesothelioma and injuries caused by machines or other equipment;
- Defective Product Accidents: including foodborne illnesses, children’s toys, defective drugs and defective medical devices; and
- Animal Bite Accidents.
Personal injury attorneys are familiar with the common types of personal injury accidents and can help you determine if you have a valid claim against the party or parties responsible for your injuries. Each state has a specific statute of limitations within which you must file a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries sustained in a personal injury accident or forego your claim.
Therefore, if you have sustained injuries or a loved one has been killed in any of the above listed common personal injury accidents or another type of personal injury accident then you should contact a personal injury lawyer in your state as soon as possible.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
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State Personal Injury Articles
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina